Cuiabá, Mato Grosso, Brasil
Capital of the state of Mato Grosso, pop 430,000, lies at northern part of Pantanal, just beneath Chapada dos Guimarães, located in the exact center of South America in the transition zone of three different ecosystems: Amazonia, Cerrado and Pantanal. The Pantanal of the Southern Mato Grosso, one of the largest sedimentation plains of the world, occupies a vast part of the Mato Grosso do Sul State, approximately 240 mil sq kilometers. This truly ecological paradise, inhabited by about 650 species of birds, 230 species of fish, 80 species of mammals, 50 species of reptiles, countless species of insects, has an exuberant vegetation and is translated in movement of shapes, colors and sounds, one of the most beautiful spectacles of Earth. The Pantanal is a birthplace of unique culture, of own race that procreated generations and more generations in a life style only existing here. The annual cycle which creates this unique environment starts with the summer rains between mid November and March, leading to the flooding of the Paraguai and Cuiabá rivers during January and February creating spawning grounds for over 170 varities of fish, exceptional examples of flora and fauna in the most magnificent scenarios, ready for visitation all over the year. During the dry season (April to mid November), the fish are trapped in the lakes formed by the receding waters and the area becomes home for a vast number of birds and other animals. As they congregate to feed upon the different species of plants and fish, they provide excellent viewing and photo opportunities, enhanced by Pantanal’s flat terrain and the absence of dense foliage. The wildlife is protected here and hunting is prohibited. The ideal time to travel to Pantanal is from March to November, but it is also possible to visit it during the rest of the year.